During the Fall 2018 meeting of the Ethnic Plans their leaders affirmed hosting a Joint National Plans Young Adults Convocation in 2019 as an initiative to honor the uniqueness of each Plan while strengthening the synergy as a collective body of Christ, particularly as it relates to next-generation leadership development.
In an unprecedented event, six Ethnic Plans of The United Methodist Church organized the first-ever “Ethnic Young Adult Gathering 2019” (EYAG 2019) in Evanston, Illinois, from August 21st to 24th, 2019. From different jurisdictions, nearly 100 lay leaders, pastors, and students gathered for three days at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary to discuss the possibilities of working together toward just and inclusive church development.
The First National Plans Joint Young Adult Leadership Convocation aimed to respond to the needs of the communities being served as well as the need for the Plans to consolidate a new vision for society. Ethnic young adults are underrepresented at all levels in our connectional church, ranging from the local church to the General Conference.
During the event, the different ethnic groups highlighted the value of their cultural roots in worshiping God and expressing their values and faith. At the same time, they incorporated the social problems that affect each of the ethnic communities that make up American society.
Part of the process included honest conversations between the youth and directors of each Plan. Claiming the values of autonomy and respect for processes, the participants constructed their own agenda in order to redesign the distribution of time and propose new ideas.